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Jewish Journal

Your Letters

May 16, 2002 | 8:00 pm

Rabbi Allen Freehling

It was nice to see an article about our father, Rabbi Allen Freehling ("Goodbye, Rabbi," May 3). The article on him was wonderful, but incomplete.

He is the father of three adult children, all of whom, along with their spouses, love and admire him. The result is six grandchildren, one of whom is a sabra, and a great-grandchild, Isaac, named for his late grandfather, Ike Freehling.

Dad has played an active part in every life-cycle event of the family from baby-namings to bar mitzvahs to weddings. He has traveled from California to Israel to Washington to join us in these celebrations. Considering his busy schedule with his other family, the synagogue family, as he so fondly refers to the congregants of University Synagogue, his commitment to find time for his immediate and extended family created a full and loving relationship with all of us.

Growing up, we always found our house filled with astonishing people. Due to dad's lifelong commitment to justice and bringing people together to begin dialogues, dad enmeshed his family in historic and political events, such as one discussion at our home in Ohio with the Black Panthers. His involvement exposed us personally to some of the most notable people of our times: Presidents Nixon, Carter and Clinton; senators and mayors; entertainers such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Sid Caesar, and, most recently, Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, to name a few.

We're very proud of our dad, and we wanted to take this opportunity to let the Jewish community know about the devoted and vulnerable side of this remarkable man and how much we love and appreciate him. Just as the article points out that dad will continue to work tirelessly as rabbi emeritus, we know that he will also work as tirelessly to stay connected with his loving and supportive family.

David Freehling, Jonathan Freehling, Susan Susman Los Angeles

Museum of the Holocaust

The brief on the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust ("Holocaust Museum Struggles," May 10) failed to provide the community with any information or important statistics about our museum. The museum receives over 500 students monthly, free-of-charge, instructing them in the history of the Jewish Holocaust. Through its large base of survivor-volunteers, the museum continues its educational mission with an arts and writing contest; an annual Youth Yom HaShoah Commemoration, with over 1,500 participants, and a large outreach program to schools and colleges. With a staff of only one full-time and one part-time person, this museum has launched several new exhibits yearly, including the acclaimed "Memory and Meaning" exhibit of second-generation artists. The museum's fundraising efforts have increased every year, commensurate with declining support by The Jewish Federation, which allocates less than two-tenths of one percent of its annual budget to the museum and Holocaust education, despite using images of the Shoah annually in its own fundraising campaign.

Dr. Gary Schiller Chairman L.A. Museum of the Holocaust

Debra Messing

I just received a copy of the Jewish Journal's cover story with Debra Messing (May 3). Thank you for such an insightful article on the next Lucille Ball. I love "Will and Grace" and Messing is the reason. Her comic ability and timing makes me laugh no matter what. What a gift she has! Thank you for sharing, Debra!

Tricia Marrapodi, Tucson, Ariz.

Saving the JCCs

Michael Aushenker's article on the JCCA biennial ("Why Not L.A.?" May 3) would have been more enlightening if it would have included the fact that in addition to biennial participants never having seen any city like Los Angeles going through a situation of the JCC divorcing its local Jewish federation, that no JCC in the United States exists without the significant financial support of its local Jewish federation. If Los Angeles can support its JCCs outside of the Jewish service agency-created umbrella-funding structure that is The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, it will be a nationally unprecedented accomplishment.

Pini Herman, Los Angeles

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